Purcellville, VA (February 22, 2019) - They say it's hard to beat a team three times in one season, and that adage would be put to the test in this Region 4C Boys basketball championship. Back in January, in back to back games, the home-standing Loudoun Valley Vikings had beaten the visiting Riverside Rams twice--and both times by twelve points.
In fact, Riverside had swooned a bit earlier this year going just 6-5 in the last part of the regular season. Loudoun Valley's season-ending run had been better, but both teams had to muscle through tough district competition to get to this point.
The Rams, however, did have some momentum having stormed through the district tournament defeating Loudoun County, who had knocked the Vikings out in the previous game. And that experience might just prove to be key.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
Backed by a packed Jungle, the Vikings took the early momentum. Behind floor leader Trent Dawson, the Vikings launched out to a first quarter lead, 17-15. Incredibly, it was difficult to say whether the support was better for the home team or the visitors as red-clad Rams faithful were bursting out of the Loudoun Valley confines. As usual, Rams Beau Everett and Simon Weeren managed the game and the pace for their side.
Midway through the second quarter, Riverside took their first lead. It wasn't flashy, it wasn't explosive, it was more like really good execution. They had a game plan, and they began to execute it to perfection. In particular, their ability to control the flow of the game began making a huge difference. Headed into the halftime locker room, the score had been reversed and the Rams now led, 34-31.
But Loudoun Valley was far from done. Four minutes into the third period, the score was tied at 39-39, and it looked like it was going to go down to the wire.
Gradually, however, Riverside took over. Relying on their recent success in big games, their hustle and teamwork began to extend the lead. As the third quarter ended, they had again moved ahead, 48-43, and had all of the flow going their way.
Despite their best effort, the Vikings could not pull any closer. When the last seconds ticked off, Riverside players and fans burst on to the court to raise a well-deserved championship trophy high.
Final score: Riverside 62 - Loudoun Valley 51